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  1. Thanks to the curiosities of a liberal-arts education, I found myself with a 21-credit workload in my last semester of senior year, one that included a seminar on John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Published in 1667, the epic, 10-volume poem wraps itself around the biblical fall of man, painting a picture of humanity’s temptation from Satan’s view. Our professor argued that, deep down, Milton saw temptation as a kind of litmus test for the soul.This story originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Road & Track.If that’s true, Performance Car of the Year might well be the bar exam for moral fortitude. Spend a week in the world’s most spectacular cars. Visit a beckoning track and some of the country’s best roads. Don’t go weak in the knees at the soprano trill of a 600-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter McLaren V-8. Try not to think too hard about being one of the first people on the planet to get your hands around the neck of the mid-engine Corvette. Be a good boy. But as John Henry opined, a man ain’t nothing but a man. We were somewhere outside Tahoe when that wide lake of asphalt and six days of sleep deprivation finally got to me. I’d spent the better part of a week pretending to be a professional. But when I found myself alone, in the first mid-engine Corvette, with acres of empty ski-park pavement ahead, no amount of restraint or discipline could stand up to desire. I had found my garden, and the serpent was waiting.I’m more of a middle-path kind of guy, anyhow.Burnouts and donuts, juvenile as they may be, are as pure a celebration of the automobile as you’ll find. Sports cars are wrapped up in the quandaries of personal freedom more than any other vehicle on four wheels, in pushing the bounds of legally and socially acceptable behavior. We do the math every time we choose to take the convertible to work instead of the family crossover, when we push a brake zone a little deeper, when we lean on the accelerator while chasing shadows up a mountain. Or when we turn the rear tires to billowing clouds. Modern life is increasingly a series of confined boxes, and a sports car fits in none of them. A good burnout isn’t entirely frivolous. If you listen, it will tell you a thing or two about the people who put the car together. In this age of eager litigation, some automakers simply deny you your inalienable right to light tires on fire. Doesn’t matter how many systems you shut off, a digital overlord will step in and pull power until you get back to acting like an adult. On a certain level, it makes sense. If you sat down and designed a sports car by bullet point, listing necessary functions on a spreadsheet, a burnout would be last on the list. Apart from drag racing, the act serves no logical function. But it’s such a fundamental question: Who’s in control of this vehicle? You or some attorney in Michigan?This next-generation Corvette has moved the badge further from its roots than any Vette before. And from the moment I saw it sulking in the California sun, I needed to know if the thing remembered how to be America’s sweetheart. So I switched off everything and leaned into mechanical masochism. Somewhere, Satan smiled. The car performed a perfect pirouette, that pushrod small-block screaming at the sky while the tires went to vapor. A devotional to free will. Automotive enthusiasm’s shit-eating grin. If God really wanted us to be good all the time, he wouldn’t have planted that apple tree. Or given us rear-wheel drive.
  2. Price shows clearly that the actions of the governments of B.C., Victoria, and ultimately Canada, while being couched as a defensive necessity, were nothing more than an overt example of government-sponsored racism against this innocent minority.The lives of more than 20,000 residents and citizens were thrown into chaos for an entire generation. It is only because of their generosity of spirit and devotion to rebuilding their lives that the Japanese-Canadian community has managed to re-establish itself across the country as a successful and beneficial complement to our multinational po[CENSORED]tion.This is not the only example of such discrimination in our history. We can note aspects of the treatment of Chinese-Canadians, citizens of First Nations and other visible minorities who have suffered significant mistreatment. We only need to watch the daily news to see that this type of activity is rife in many areas of the world.In Canada, we like to take pride in our history of peaceful democratic behaviour. It is useful, and appreciated, that individuals like Price can hold up the mirror of history to remind us that we must continue to hold our governments to account and ensure that we can, and will, do better than certain of our predecessors.P.S.M. PearlstoneNorth SaanichAngry rhetoric undermines column’s argumentRe: “Why isn’t there a Ministry of Men? We have everything else,” column, Dec. 8.Lawrie McFarlane’s column claims there is a “war on men,” that “boys and young men are having their wings clipped,” and that the new federal cabinet represents “an insult to men.”While urging “a thoughtful re-examination of the roles both men and women should aspire to,” he uses angry rhetoric to frame the debate.As the mother of four daughters, I believe that we should celebrate the fact that “girls and young women are being taught to spread their wings.” As a parent, I agree that we must identify solutions for boys who struggle in school and young men facing social isolation.However, this column does not further respectful and constructive discussion of these issues, only days after commemorations of the shootings at École Polytechnique 30 years ago.Annemieke HolthuisSaanichDon’t give borderline views a megaphoneWell, Lawrie McFarlane has stepped into it again. His latest missive advocates for a federal “Ministry of Men,” since there are ministries for everyone else — women, Aboriginals, etc. — and goes on to claim men are disproportionally suffering because traditional standards of male masculinity have been emasculated by all this equality talk and action.That, in his opinion, is why there’s so much drug addiction and other problems among men today.It’s one thing to hold and express borderline views — everyone’s entitled to their opinion in Canada. It’s another to get a megaphone. McFarlane’s latest opinion piece should have been left to a social-media blog, not our newspaper.Kevin BishopSaanichDon’t worry, guys: You’re taken care ofHey, Lawrie, relax, there has been a “Ministry of Men” for years — it’s called the old boys’ network and it’s still going strong after all these years.Dorothy MullenVictoriaDisregard the suffering of men at your perilCongratulations to Lawrie McFarlane for writing and the Times Colonist for publishing the column.Individuals and societies that deliberately disregard the suffering of men have to face the awful fact that what damages men also damages women and, even worse, damages children.The constant attacks on and scrutiny of what constitutes “proper” masculinity is ridiculous. I have a friend whose 10-year-old son came home from school crying because he was told to admit that he was, by default, a rapist.The kind of social narrative that would spawn an event like that is based on an ignorant and vindictive reading of history. Only a prime minister to the manor born could be blind to and do nothing about the overrepresentation of men in suicide, incarceration, early death, assault, workplace injury, disaffection, parental alienation, homelessness, and generally poor school and academic performance.Speaking purely biologically, nature does need fewer males than females.The phenomenon of highly driven and accomplished men should not, however, justify turning a blind eye to the vast majority of men who might need help, social justice, or even encouragement for all they do right.How did we get to the point of needing a Ministry of Men? Whatever the answer, it is clearly the case that we do.Robert CreeseVictoria‘Advisory’ bike lanes a recipe for disasterMy parents have lived on Richardson Street for 41 years. I lived on Richardson Street for over 29 years and still visit my parents’ place almost every day.Richardson Street is too narrow to safely use the proposed “advisory” bike lanes. These lanes would have cars in both directions sharing one lane. When the vehicles need to pass, they would move into the bike lanes on either side of the road.This sounds like a recipe for disaster and could increase collisions. The intersection at Cook and Richardson is already very dangerous, with four lanes of traffic, and this plan is just going to make it worse. It’s already very hard to cross the street there as a pedestrian — I was almost hit by cars in the fourth lane on multiple occasions.
  3. Cesar Azpilicueta scored Chelsea's winning goal against LilleCesar Azpilicueta clenched his fists together in celebration as the final whistle sounded at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea's season has been all about their young players so far. On this occasion, however, it was fitting it was their captain's goal which made the difference.This game had been billed as a test of character for the club's academy stars. A place in the Champions League last 16 was at stake and the pressure was on after a poor run of form. In the end, though, it was the older heads in the team who guided them through - albeit by a fine margin.Chelsea 2-1 Lille - Match reportChampions League scores and resultsWhen is the CL last-16 draw?Sponsored linkModern Home Transformations: From Frigid To Welcoming Modern Home Transformations: From Frigid To Welcoming Mansion GlobalRecommended byFrank Lampard knew it was a night for experience and it showed in his team selection. There were three changes from the 3-1 loss to Everton and each one saw a younger player replaced by an older one. In defence, Andreas Christensen and Reece James made way for Antonio Rudiger and Emerson. In midfield, Mason Mount dropped out for Jorginho.English Championship Wed 11, 19:45Price BoostBarnsley v ReadingPRICE BOOSTBarnsley to win and BTTSWas 3/1Now 7/2Bet HerePRICE BOOSTReading to win and BTTSWas 3/1Now 7/2Bet HereRudiger's return was particularly welcome. The Germany defender has been missed this season, particularly at Goodison Park on Sunday, where Christensen and Zouma were dominated by more physical opponents, but he has put his injury problems behind him now and Chelsea's defence looked far more secure with him at the heart of it on Tuesday night.Loic Remy's late goal ensured there was no clean sheet. But Lille did not threaten at all until that point and it had a lot to do with Rudiger.He provided the leadership Chelsea's defence has lacked lately and looked assured from the start. The fans sounded their appreciation when he won an early foot race with Thiago Maia. There were roars of delight at one crunching tackle on Remy shortly before half-time.Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic pictured after the final whistleJorginho and Mateo Kovacic pictured after the final whistleZouma clearly benefited from the presence of a more experienced centre-back partner alongside him, and while there was one late lapse from Rudiger - a loose touch which allowed Remy to spring forward on the break - this was an impressive overall performance for a player making his first start since September - and only his second of the entire season.Either side of Rudiger and Zouma, Azpilicueta and Emerson fared similarly well, pinning back Lille's wide players for long periods, keeping their composure late in the game and even combining for what turned out to be the decisive goal, when the latter's corner was headed home by the former.Lampard on January transfer plansMan City to rival Chelsea for AkeWatch Sky Sports from £18 a monthJorginho ran the midfield. The Italy midfielder has been in and out of the Chelsea team lately, but he has been talked up as a "leader" by Lampard this season and this performance was another example of his value to the side. As well as the usual probing passes, he made more tackles and interceptions than anyone else, helping Chelsea keep Lille under pressure.Jorginho was ably supported by N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, who combined to ensure Chelsea did not miss Mount's guile, and while it was Tammy Abraham who scored the opener, the striker was one of only two players in the team under the age of 25 along with Christian Pulisic.
  4. Aguila Saleh, Libya's parliament president, speaks during the first session at parliament headquarters in Benghazi, Libya April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-FetoriCairo- Sawsan Abu Hussein and Khalid MahmoudThe head of Libya's parliament Aguila Saleh has launched a regional tour to rally support against the memoranda of understandings signed between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the head of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj.On November 28, Ankara and Tripoli signed a memorandum on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea.In Cairo, Saleh met with Arab Parliament President Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami.The two discussed means the Arab Parliament can help in preventing the repercussions of the MoUs. One of the ways is withdrawing Arab and international support for Sarraj’s GNA.Salami reiterated the call for all Libyan parties to resort to dialogue and preserve national unity.“The political solution inside Libya will only take place with the agreement of the Libyan parties, away from all negative external interference in the Libyan internal affairs,” he affirmed.Saleh, for his part, said: “The signing of this agreement without ratification by the Libyan House of Representatives aims to cede the sovereignty of the Libyan State and its legitimate rights to the Republic of Turkey to enable it to invest in this area, which is null and void by all standards.”“Libya and Turkey do not have common maritime boundaries. There are several countries including Greece and Cyprus, in addition to the overlap of maritime borders with other countries, including the Arab Republic of Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, as sti[CENSORED]ted in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.Saleh also urged the United Nations not to acknowledge the legality of the document as the Libyan parliament does not recognize it.On the other hand, the GNA acknowledged for the first time Monday, that its headquarters and Finance Ministry in the capital Tripoli were attacked by “armed militias.”This followed a declaration by the interior minister saying that security was restored to the area.
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